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The Control Center

Technically Speaking - Episode 12

There are three words tech expert Andru Edwards takes seriously: speed, choice and control. In every episode of Technically Speaking, Andru highlights one of his favorite products in each of those categories that will make your life easier on the road, at work or at home. Here are his picks this episode:

Speed: Sonos PLAY:1

What it is: Home speaker
Available at: www.sonos.com

The Sonos PLAY:1 is a wireless hi-fi speaker that instantly connects to your Wi-Fi network and allows you to stream music, podcasts and other audio stored on your computer, as well as your favorite music services like Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora. All of those services are built-in to the Sonos app, so you no longer need to jump back and forth through multiple platforms. It is humidity resistant as well, so you can jam out in the shower or in your backyard. The device is small, but the sound is mighty.

Choice: Smarter Coffee Machine

What it is: Bluetooth Connected Grind and Brew Machine
Available at: www.smarter.am

Every coffee lover’s dream, the Smarter Coffee Machine is a Bluetooth-enabled coffee maker that grinds and brews your favorite drinks. With the press of a button on the smartphone app, you can make fresh coffee from anywhere in your home, including your bed. The Smarter app works with your schedule to start a cycle before you wake up. You can even change the strength or flavor of your java and clean your machine at any time, from anywhere. The Smarter Coffee is currently sold in Europe and is expected to be available in the United States in July 2017.

Control: Apple Watch Series 2

What it is: Smart Watch
Available at: www.apple.com

The Apple Watch Series 2 is one of the hottest wearable tech gadgets on the market. It has all of the features of the original Apple Watch with a couple of great additions. Not only does it interface with your favorite iPhone apps, it has a built-in GPS, a fast dual-core processor, and is water resistant up to about 160 feet. One of the most talked about features is the ability to track your walks, runs and more, even when you don’t have your phone on you.

How do Andru’s picks hold up in everyday life? Three National Emerald Club road warriors tested out Apple Watch Series 2 in their daily lives and gave us their feedback.

“I love everything about this product because it takes the normal watch and adds functionality that creates convenience, utility and safety. This product made my travel life easier and gives me more control by having directions/navigation on my wrist, showing me my airline boarding pass on my wrist, multiple time zones on one  watch face AND I can see how many steps I've taken to get to that airport gate that is always the furthest  away from the ticket counter. I can even open my hotel door by using the hotel app on my Apple Watch.”

Craig H.
Phoenix, Ariz.

“The simplification of my schedule is the most improved. The fact that all notifications can be easily viewed with a flick of the wrist after a silent and inconspicuous haptic tap. My schedule for the day is right there, my passes and cards are immediately available and I can even view the weather and radar map from my wrist. The ability to quickly view and filter my email without my phone is priceless and the instant notification of anything important has made my life so much easier.”

Erik L.
Troy, Mich.

“Not only can it help it track different types of workouts, I can also manage my music from it! I also like how it can track the calories I've burned, the miles I've walked, and the hours I've stood.I also enjoy how the watch is waterproof, so I can use it to track my laps in the pool. This watch has truly inspired me to live a healthier lifestyle, as I now can see visible results due to the calorie tracker on it. It's definitely an investment all business travelers should make!

Glen B.
Miami, Fla.